2016 DraftBook Team Analysis Part II

By John Laub
John Laub



Part II: Fantasy Sports Publications, Inc. recently held its annual DraftBook magazine league draft: A points-per-reception contest with three receivers and a flex position in the starting lineup. Twelve of the best fantasy football experts participated, and six were asked to reflect on their strategy after drafting their teams.



Matt Kelly, Playerprofiler.com            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Avg. PPG.
QB Flacco Baltimore 17 273 281 273 275.7 17.2
RB Stewart Carolina 7 174 168 186 176.0 11.0
RB C. Sims Tampa Bay 8 168 172 181 173.7 10.9
WR K. Allen San Diego 2 267 271 265 267.7 16.7
WR A. Robinson Jacksonville 1 245 254 230 243.0 15.2
WR J. Edelman New England 3 246 227 250 241.0 15.1
TE J. Whitten Dallas 15 176 165 162 167.7 10.5
Flex E. Decker New York 4 246 225 221 230.7 14.4
  Totals     1795 1763 1768 1775.3 111.0
Res. A. Hurns Jacksonville 5 162 179 181 174.0 10.9


“Draft philosophy: Because value-based drafting has been fully debunked—punctuated by the epic implosion of robust RB teams in 2015—I always implement pure Zero RB. Because I believe optimal roster construction trumps value in any given round, I typically start WR x 5 or WR x 6 focusing on high floor WRs early (Antonio Brown/Keenan Allen/Julian Edelman/Eric Decker/Doug Baldwin) then snatching some uber-upside plays (Donte Moncrief/Corey Coleman) before follow it up with 4 straight RBs typically: Jonathan Stewart, Ameer Abdullah, Charles Sims, TJ Yeldon, Theo Riddick, Tevin Coleman.  I then grab a couple more RBs and WRs such as the Ravens RBs: Allen/Dixon and undervalued upside WRs: Janis/Terrance Williams.  I finish my drafts with QB/TE because I'm an ardent Late Round QB and Late Round Tight End enthusiast.  Happy with Stafford/Flacco/Cutler/ Fitzpatrick and Julius Thomas/Witten/Tye/McDonald.” -- Matt Kelly, Playerprofiler.com, @Fantasy_Mansion


Bob Harris, FootballDIehards.com            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Avg. PPG.
QB D. Brees New Orleans 8 330 318 305 317.7 19.9
RB C. Hyde San Francisco 4 212 183 147 165.0 10.3
RB T. Gurley Los Angeles 1 267 267 281 271.7 17.0
WR A. Jeffery Chicago 2 273 261 249 261.0 16.3
WR S. Watkins Buffalo 3 235 249 243 242.3 15.1
WR W. Snead New Orleans 7 180 180 184 181.3 11.3
TE G. Olsen Carolina 5 208 214 222 214.7 13.4
Flex J. Ajayi Miami 6 186 180 193 186.3 11.6
  Totals     1891 1852 1824 1840.0 115.0
Res. M. Wallace Minnesota 13 108 146 118 124.0 7.8


“I had been in a number of drafts by the time this one came up. Over the course of previous drafts, I took specific approaches (running back early, Zero RB, etc.) to see how they played out. The results were fairly mixed; I was happy with some and not so much with others. For this draft, I wanted the focus to be on value and upside as much as possible. The value started in Round 1. It's safe to say I was surprised to have my choice of Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott at No. 9. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless. After going with Gurley, I felt a player I'm a little higher on than others—but one with upside if he stays healthy—was called for and Alshon Jeffery fit the bill. 


With my No. 1-ranked RB and No. 7 receiver nailed down with those first two picks, I was pretty comfortable letting the rest of the draft come to me. I didn't get everybody I wanted, but with guys like Sammy Watkins (the third-most productive fantasy wideout over the last six weeks of the season last year), Carlos Hyde (who will be very busy this season assuming he can avoid injury), Greg Olsen (as consistently-productive a player as you'll find at any position) coming to me over the next three rounds I grew increasingly confident in the way things were going. 


Adding Jay Ajayi, another player whose role will certainly expand this year, in Round 6 and securing two QBs in my top 8 at the position in Rounds 8 and 9 (Drew Brees and Eli Manning, respectively) was like icing on the cake. The remaining mix of solid veterans (Antonio Gates), youngsters who could excel given the circumstances (Jordan Howard) and at least one total flier (Josh Gordon in Round 14) all combined to make this one of my favorite drafts this offseason.” -- Bob Harris, FootballDiehards.com, @footballdiehard


John Laub, Gridiron Scholars            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Avg. PPG.
QB Newton Carolina 6 368 369 365 367.3 23.0
RB D. Murray Tennessee 5 191 196 199 195.3 12.2
RB E. Elliot Dallas 1 275 247 234 252.0 15.8
WR G. Tate Detroit 3 241 244 249 244.7 15.3
WR D. Baldwin Seattle 4 221 222 239 227.3 14.2
WR M. Evans Tampa Bay 2 232 245 231 236.0 14.8
TE Z. Ertz Philadelphia 7 183 163 154 166.7 10.4
Flex Treadwell Minnesota 8 190 144 150 161.3 10.1
  Totals     1901 1830 1821 1850.7 115.7
Res. T. Boyd Cincinnati 10 134 149 136 139.7 8.7


“After 27 years of drafting fantasy football teams, I am not ideologically anchored to any one strategy. My draft position and league competitors are an integral component of how my team is composed. In this draft, I selected eleventh and knew that none of the top receivers would be on the board at my pick; therefore, running backs David Johnson, Todd Gurley or Ezekiel Elliot would be my targets. Once I grabbed the Dallas rookie, I wanted to draft three wide receivers and another runner by the conclusion of the fifth round and receivers Mike Evans, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin all landed on my roster. In the fifth, I nabbed my favorite runner, DeMarco Murray, to procure at a mid-level price. 


Now, I had a difficult decision. I wanted to wait on the quarterback position. Yet, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton remained on the board, and I could not pass up the value. To invest so little draft capital in last season’s fantasy MVP became too much to pass on, and Newton became my starter. Afterwards, I acquired my final remaining starter and selected Zac Ertz, who is my preferred tight end to target in 2016. 


Finally, I invested in run schemes if possible. I wanted to secure the Ravens’ running game with rookie Kenneth Dixon and sophomore Javorius Allen, and backed up Elliot with Darren McFadden. I like the balance and depth of my squad, and have a good chance to reach the championship game for a second consecutive season in 2016.” -- John Laub, FootballDiehards.com, @GridironSchol91